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The Observer is the Observed

Madras, India. Group Discussion 12th December, 1947

The purpose you have in view in naming a feeling or applying a term to it, is (i) to convey that feeling to others and (ii) to place it or to pin it up and to recognize it.

When applied to objective things, the words are quite apart from the things and you don't interpret those things through the words as you can contact those things directly. In the case of feelings and thoughts, their effect on the body of the person concerned can be seen and felt by others. In order however to convey those feelings to others, the person concerned has to use the words to denote them. When a feeling arises, he names it in order to evaluate according to the frame of references already established in his memory; he thus absorbs it into himself and strengthens the memory, the 'me'. Therefore the naming of a feeling converts it to 'Time', - i.e. continuance - and leads either to the condemnation of a painful feeling or to the identification with a pleasurable feeling. If the feeling is not named, it is not absorbed, therefore it runs its course and then ceases without in any way strengthened the 'me'.

In actual life, we always name the pleasurable feelings thus giving them continuance, and we always avoid painful feelings. A man seeking God by avoiding sensate values in still pursuing sensate values, i.e. pleasure on a higher level - just like a drunkard who seeks pleasure in a crude manner and on a lower level. By avoiding painful feelings and pursuing pleasurable feelings he wreaks havoc to society and causes a great deal of harm to others. Similarly, the man who seeks pleasure only in ideation, also causes great mischief to others.

You have to understand the implications of this and seriously experiment with yourself by not naming the feelings as they arise in you.

The Observer is the Observed

Madras, India. Group Discussion 12th December, 1947

Jiddu Krishnamurti texts. The Observer Is the Observed. Contains reports of spontaneous discourses about life and reality, given at different times between 1945 and 1948.

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